A photographic postcard showing a British officer's family.
This charming informal photographic postcard shows an unknown family of four. The soldier–father wears riding boots and spurs, while his Sam Browne belt and the rank markings on his lower left sleeve indicate that he is an officer. (He seems to have two stars on his sleeve and a single ring of braid, suggesting that he is a lieutenant.) This style of rank insignia for officers was abolished in 1920. On the back of the postcard, the stamp box bears the ‘K Ltd / STAMP HERE’ mark that, according to some reference sources, dates the postcard to between 1918 and 1936. Of possible additional significance are the three languages in which the information on the reverse is printed: English, French and German (‘POST CARD. CARTE POSTALE–POSTKARTE / Communication–Mitteilungen–Correspondance / Address–Adresse’), the inclusion of German on British-manufactured postcards being unusual during the war years. These clues suggest that the photograph may have been taken some time between 1918 and 1920. Yet even if this photograph dates from shortly after the cessation of hostilities, the two girls would still have been born during the First World War, and would have experienced the first few years of their lives as ‘war babies’.